The Athens ETC chronicles - Game 5

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  • Game 5 - Greece (Beast Herds, Breakthrough)

    For the fifth round of the ETC, we were paired against Greece. While the greek Warhammer tournament scene had never been that big, during the 8th edition a solid tournament player base had been formed, and these players went on to win Bronze in the 2014 ETC. The team we were facing now consisted of the same players, but with very little 9th Age experience and not exactly in the mood for competitive gaming.

    I got paired against Kostas, who is a Dread Elf veteran player, but was playing Beast Herds this time: to cut a long story short, he offered me the 10-10 from the get-go, to which I declined with the reasoning that I had just travelled 3000km to play 6 games of T9A, and I was getting my 6 games! However, he was very tired (he’s a doctor, too, and had to work until after midnight the night before) and in the end after deployment we agreed on a 13-7 win for the Sylvans* and went on to play a relaxed, yet tactical game. So a win-win for me, I would have hated to sit in the sidelines for this round.

    *Looking at his army list, that’s exactly what I was predicting I’d get: we’d exchange combat units in a chess-like match, then I’d score the Breakthrough scenario for a small win.


    I got Luminous Bolts and Phoenix Rises for my Druid and Insect swarm and Beast within for my Matriarch.

    We traded deployments for a while, then I dropped everything to force my opponent to get the first turn: that is perfect against vanguarding chariots, since it denies first turn charges to the Beasts player, plus the Dark Rain would have a smaller effect on my shooting.

    I won’t be doing a turn-by-turn since I have no pictures of this match, but I did some diagrams and will comment on them so that you see how it went.


    Turn 1 the Beast Herds pushed forward in force, and Kostas surprised me with the Briar Beasts appearing inside the forest on his turn 1 (I thought it was from turn 2 onwards). Bad start for me, since these 3 were too close to the Sylvan Archers for my liking.

    I got some early charges off: Wild Huntsmen and Bladedancers to the left into the Centaurs with a centaur character, resulting in a dead unit of centaurs, a dead unit of wild huntsmen and 4 victorious bladedancers pursuing. The Kestrels also went into one of the chariots, killed it and overran into a second one.

    Unfortunately, the shooting and magic phase were not that effective, and all 3 briar beasts were alive on turn 2. They went into the Sylvan Archers, killed them with ease and overran over to the left side of the board, where they’d spend all game. (One was killed later on by some Bladedancers though)

    During the early game, my magic managed to soften up the rightmost unit of centaurs, enough for my Wild Huntsmen to blow through them. They did get a chariot in the face for their trouble, though, and died.


    A big moment was around turn 4, when the two minotaurs were close to my Thicket Beasts and Forest Guard. I sacrificed the Briar Maidens (bait and flee off the table) to get the regenerating minotaur warlord to charge my Flaming Thicket beasts, but my plans were thwarted when the remaining centaurs with BSB and general managed to land a charge into the Thickets’ flank from 19 inches away. The ensuing combat saw the thicket beasts quickly lose some models (the centaurs had Thunderous charge and the +1 Attack/AP totem) but the survivors held, and with the help of some rear charging Kestrels the result was a bloodbath: all of the thicket beasts died, the thicket shepherd had 2 wounds remaining and the kestrels died too. But in return, the enemy centaurs, bsb and general were all gone!

    In the closing steps of the game, I fed my druid to one of the minotaur warlords, and the thicket shepherd took one for the team and got charged by the regenerating minotaur. In the end, this allowed my Dryad Matriarch to finish off the Regenerating Warlord with a couple of Insect swarms.

    When the dust cleared, the only things left alive were a wounded Minotaur Warlord, a chariot and 2 Briar Beasts for the Beast Herds, versus the Forest Guard, the Dryads, the Matriarch and the unit of scoring Heath Riders, conveniently placed inside my opponent’s deployment zone.

    With around 2000 points lost per side, the game ended up a draw, and the Sylvan Elves held the secondary objective, for the final result of 13-7.

    Sylvan Elf victory!


    This was by far the most fun game of the ETC for me. Kostas is a very good general, and he played his army cleverly. With the ‘official score’ out of the way, we were both more relaxed and shoved models into combat as we’d do in a friendly game. But he still taught me a couple of things, and his movement was flawless.

    A pity that the Greek team’s soul wasn’t into this, but that’s to be expected after several years of «hardcore» tournament gaming by the same people. They did give us good games, and are great guys all around.

    We discussed Elves with Kostas afterwards, and he does have an ace or two up his sleeve when it comes to Dread Elves. Perhaps he’ll surprise us all in the next ETC! Judging from our game, he is the kind of general that brings a knife to a gunfight, and still manages to get out on top.

    Team Belgium did very well this round, getting the maximum 100 points win! So 3 losses, 2 wins, and a final round to fight!

    This time we’d be facing team Australia, winner of this year’s Ashes!

    As always, feel free to comment in the section below!


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Comments 8

  • Swordmaster -

    Now much better! And the game between arch-enemies too (background stories wise)! For a strange reason I am looking forward to reading about your last game against Aussies :)

  • micky -

    Did you forget about the briarbeasts or why didnt you screen the forest?

    • SmithF -

      I thought they could only enter from turn 2 onwards, like ambushers! Big mistake on my part, but I've rarely played games against them.

  • Petterwass -

    You can do that?
    Just "fix" the score like that?

    • SmithF -

      Yes, I was also surprised, but it happens in the ETC (as a team, I think we accepted 3 scores like that, yet still played the games). It's customary in games where both armies are going to play 6 turns of "corner hammer" which would be seen as a waste of time, but necessary to conserve the 10-10 for the team.*

      As I said, I accepted it out of respect for a fellow gamer that was visibly tired due to work issues, but I welcomed the opportunity to actually play the game. In the end, the predicted score was the same as the result we got, only we got to play a more relaxed game.

      *It's also worth noting that the more invested teams play so many games, that they can predict the outcome of most matchups

    • Petterwass -

      I don't think it necessarily a bad think but it could get ugly.
      Such a rule could easily be used for match-fixing and such.

      Dunno if I like that it exists though I can't fault you two for using it under those circumstances (oppoent clearly under the weather)

    • Daemonic Herald -

      Can't wait to see the last report and the final comments!
      Wonderful battle reports from a skilled player is not so common, so thanks for your time!

    • ValourUnbound -

      I think the reason it is permitted is because no one is winning any money out of this (afaik).